Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Booknotes VIII ( August '11 )

New Arrivals:

1. General Braxton Bragg, C.S.A. by Samuel J. Martin (McFarland, 2011).

2. A Soldier's Story of His Regiment (61st Georgia) and Incidentally of the Lawton- Gordon-Evans Brigade Army of Northern Virginia by George W. Nichols, ed. by Robert E.L. Krick (Univ of Ala Press, 2011).

The newest volume from the press's Seeing the Elephant, an Alabama series that reprints classic memoirs.

3. The Fifty-Eighth North Carolina Troops: Tar Heels in the Army of Tennessee by Michael C. Hardy (McFarland, 2011).

It's nice to see a NC unit history of a regiment that served in the AoT instead of the ANV. Looks like Michael did some fine work here.

4. From Bloody Shirt to Full Dinner Pail: The Transformation of Politics and Governance in the Gilded Age by Charles W. Calhoun (Hill and Wang, 2011).



Monday, August 29, 2011

"Beyond The Crater" ordnance return and inspection report transcriptions

Brett Schulte's excellent The Siege of Petersburg Online - Beyond the Crater site has made available for a nominal fee his transcriptions of Confederate Inspection Reports and Union Ordnance Returns.  I've seen the images of these microfilm rolls that NARA has made available for direct purchase and they are horrendously difficult to read so Brett's work should be appreciated by those interested in poring through these reports.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Various book related news items

The release date of my most anticipated military study of the year, Thunder Across the Swamp: The Fight for the Lower Mississippi, February-May 1863, has been pushed back to the end of September.

The Sable Arm blogger James Price has a book coming out soon, The Battle of New Market Heights: Freedom Will Be Theirs by the Sword. Anyone who made it through Richmond Redeemed wanting to read more and those with an interest in the battles fought by USCT units will want to pick up this one. It will have maps by Steve Stanley and promises "meticulous tactical detail."

Larry Wood plans to publish a history of the Civil War in Springfield, Missouri. He also notes that William G. Piston and John Rutherford are currently working on a study of the Battle of Springfield.

Broadfoot has three more volumes from their South Carolina unit history series available.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Pittman: "NEW MEXICO AND THE CIVIL WAR"

[ New Mexico and the Civil War by Walter Earl Pittman (The History Press, 2011). Softcover, maps, photos, index. 127 pp. ISBN:978-1-60949-137-6 $19.99 ]

New Mexico and the Civil War is one of the better volumes from The History Press's body of concise campaign and battle histories. Author Walter Pittman is a retired academic historian but his overview of the failed 1861-62 Confederate campaign to conquer the vast land mass that would later become the states of Arizona and New Mexico is not a scholarly work. Instead, it is a popular narrative summary aimed toward general readers and new students of the Civil War in the desert southwest.

Readers steeped in published New Mexico literature from the likes of Don Alberts, Jerry Thompson, John Taylor, Martin Hall, and Donald Frazier will not discover reams of new information in the pages of Pittman's book, but then Pittman is not attempting to and does not supplant Hall and Frazier's celebrated single volume campaign histories. In places there is a slightly different focus, with Pittman often emphasizing the contributions of the company sized guerrilla and scout units attached to Henry H. Sibley's Confederate Army of New Mexico. The portraits of significant commanders from each side (e.g. Union officers Edward R.S. Canby, Kit Carson, John Slough, John Chivington, and James Carleton and Confederates Henry Sibley, Tom Green, John Baylor, and William Scurry) are fairly conventional, although the author's condemnation of Carleton's questionably legal imposition of martial law and strict passport system for private citizens is harsher than most. The battle descriptions in the book are quite good given the space constraints. Near the end is a solid chapter length summary of the Indian conflicts that occurred in the territory during the period 1863-65, with Pittman aptly characterizing much of the war in New Mexico as three sided (Confederate vs. Union and both vs. the native bands of Apaches, Navaho, etc.).

In terms of illustrations, many photographs of the battle sites as they appear today were included. The maps, while not depicting tactical troop movements, give readers a good idea of the march routes and terrain fought over by the opposing armies. Hopefully, New Mexico and the Civil War can help expose a new audience to the desert campaigns of the Far West. Veteran students may also find it to be a useful refresher.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Booknotes VII ( August '11 )

New Arrivals:

1. The CSS Arkansas: A Confederate Ironclad on the Western Waters by Myron J. Smith, Jr. (McFarland, 2011).

Smith recounts in his typical level of detail the impressive highs and lows of the Arkansas's short career.

2. New Mexico and the Civil War by Walter E. Pittman (The History Press, 2011).

This work is primarily composed of a brief summary of Sibley's 1861-62 campaign, with an additional chapter covering the rest of the war years in the territory.

3. West Virginia and the Civil War: Mountaineers Are Always Free by Mark A. Snell (The History Press, 2011).

Snell's study is not a history of the war fought within the confines of the area that would become West Virginia in 1863 (though some of that certainly is in there), but rather a broader look at the contributions of West Virginia officers and men to the Union army's eastern theater campaigns and battles overall.

4. A Unionist in East Tennessee: Captain William K. Byrd and the Mysterious Raid of 1861 by Marvin Byrd (The History Press, 2011).

I can't say that I've ever heard of Byrd or his unauthorized 1861 raid, so the material presented in this one will be entirely new to me.  Looks very interesting.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Booknotes VI ( August '11 )

New Arrivals:


1. Always In The Middle Of The Battle: Edward Kiniry and the 1st Illinois Light Artillery Battery D by David Edward Wall (Xlibris, 2011).

Wall explores the battery's Civil War service through the writings of Kiniry and others. In addition to the narrative, the volume is well stocked with maps and the author also provides a battery roster and OB info for the unit at appropriate intervals.

2. Second Manassas: Longstreet's Attack and the Struggle for Chinn Ridge by Scott C. Patchan (Potomac Books, 2011).

As John Hennessy writes in the introduction, this book offers more detail and understanding of Chinn Ridge related events than those found in Hennessy's classic Return to Bull Run.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Author Q & A: Gregory F. Michno

Gregory Michno has authored or co-authored at least eight books and many more articles dealing with the Indian conflicts in the West. His most recent publication, Dakota Dawn: The Decisive First Week of the Sioux Uprising, August 17-24, 1862 (Savas Beatie, 2011) is a fascinating moment by moment recounting of events, and he's kindly agreed to answer a few questions about it for CWBA.


DW: You’ve published widely on the Indian Wars of the West. What led to your interest in the Dakotas of Minnesota?

GM: I’ve probably had an interest in the Uprising since reading about it in high school many years ago; it is one episode among many that I’ve studied and wanted to learn more about. That is probably why I write—so I can learn more while doing it. I have been asked when I will write something else about the Little Bighorn. Perhaps I will, but there are so many other subjects in Western history that intrigue me.


DW: In addition to the many eyewitness accounts available in print, the 1862 Great Sioux Uprising has been treated to a number of overview histories by writers and historians like Kenneth Carley, C.M. Oehler, Jerry Keenan, Duane Schultz, Hank Cox, and John Koblas. In terms of strictly military history, I greatly value Micheal Clodfelter’s The Dakota War. Do you have any particular favorites among the many books published on the subject?

GM: The books you mention are all helpful: Carley does a great overview; Oehler is a bit dated; Keenan does a fine summary, Schultz gives a bit more detail but the sources are sketchy; Cox is centered on Lincoln; and Koblas gives many details, but unfortunately the text is error-prone. Clodfelter’s Dakota War is one of the best treatments of the whole affair and puts it in perspective. An old book by Charles Bryant and Abel Murch, A History of the Great Massacre, was helpful in providing eyewitness testimony. Gary Anderson’s biography of Little Crow was very useful. Minnesota in the Civil and Indian Wars, published in the 1890s, has many primary sources. Reminiscences by participants like Jacob Nix and Rudolph Leonhart give the story a first-hand reality.


DW: The Dakota War that began in Minnesota was a lengthy one fought over a huge geographical expanse. What factors were behind your decision to concentrate your own effort in Dakota Dawn on the first week of the conflict?

GM: This was mainly a matter of book length. Publishers are always concerned about printing costs and pricing, and now they have competition from electronic versions; they are not so willing to invest in a massive tome with no guarantees they will make their money back. I needed about 400 pages in Dakota Dawn, just to cover one week. The majority of the killing, capturing, and fighting took place in that week, and the Dakotas experienced their greatest gains. After that, their offensive was virtually over. It was a natural break point. Perhaps I can follow-up with the rest of the story in another volume.


DW: What types of source materials did you integrate into your work that have been neglected or underutilized by previous writers?

GM: Like most researchers and writers I believe I used a spread of primary and secondary sources, and some material now available on the internet. I believe one of the best resources is in the Minnesota Historical Society collections. There are tons of eyewitness testimonies available for the researcher—probably more than reasonably can be incorporated into any one book. The letters, diaries, and stories of the participants are among the best sources of anecdotal flavor.

I did get to the National Archives to dig into the Indian Depredation Claims, which were filed by people who claimed to have lost property as a result of Indian attacks. These are great sources of original details, many of which have never been in print before. One probably has heard the phrase “cutting through the red tape.” As I opened these old boxes, many files were still tightly tied in what was once red ribbon, now faded brown, cracked and dry. The archivists allowed me to “cut” some of the ribbon to make photocopies. It got me to wonder if this was where some of the “red tape” legend came from.


DW: How much material from the Sioux perspective is available?

GM: As usual, the documentation from the Indian side is much less than on the white side. A good number of the participants, however, did give their reminiscences to recorders in the late 19th Century and into the early 20th. You will find them scattered in a number of publications. One collection published in 1988, by Gary Anderson and Alan Woolworth, Through Dakota Eyes, is very helpful.


DW: In a recent published collection of interviews [ Violent Encounters: Interviews on Western Massacres, Lawrence & Lawrence, U. of Okla. Press, 2011 ], Robert Utley stated that he did not consider the men, women, and children killed by the Sioux in Minnesota to be victims of a massacre. Do you have any thoughts on that?

GM: I really don’t understand Bob’s stance on this one. If any settlers could be considered victims of a “massacre,” a great number of the Minnesota farmers were. I am not talking about those who were armed in Fort Ridgely or New Ulm for instance, but hundreds of Scandinavian and German farmers did not even own firearms, contrary to the American myth of every pioneer being armed with a rifle. These people, many of whom tried to remain peaceful even when threatened with imminent death, did not deserve their fates. Some may have encroached on Dakota lands, but they did so under the notion that the government had opened up the lands for settlement. In any case, their transgressions did not translate into an open season of slaughter.


DW: How has your own book on Sand Creek, which takes great pains to present the army perspective, been received?

GM: My first thought is just to say that the Sand Creek book hasn’t been received at all. It had a very small print run, was never advertised much besides in the publisher’s catalog, and its price probably precludes the general reader from purchasing it. The little feedback I received was both hot and cold. I got comments that it was very fair and proved that the Cheyennes were not innocent victims as they are almost universally depicted. I also got comments that I was too anti-Indian. I suppose trying to defend white military action in this episode is a losing cause. No matter what evidence is presented, some will refuse to accept Cheyenne culpability. The situation is ironic to me, because I am on the left of the political spectrum and I admire the Indians’ resistance to a white culture who certainly took advantage of them. On the other hand, I was called too pro-Indian in Lakota Noon. I guess if you tick-off both sides, maybe you are being balanced.


DW: Getting back to the Sioux in Minnesota, your book details the fighting at places like Fort Ridgely and New Ulm. Previous books only briefly summarize these events. How difficult was it to piece together what happened?

GM: Piecing together various bits of sometimes conflicting historical information is something I enjoy doing; one might compare it to doing a crossword puzzle. Some details might point in one direction and other references might support it, or if not, it should cause you to think perhaps the original supposition may need adjustment. It’s a constant reworking of the pieces until hopefully you have what appears to be the most logical scenario. Sometimes contradictory testimony leaves you puzzled, and you have to make your own best estimation. Writing Lakota Noon was similar, like trying to fit together a giant jigsaw puzzle.


DW: What are the biggest misconceptions about the uprising that you sought to clear up in your book?

GM: Honestly, I didn’t set out to prove anything or discount any misconceptions. I write for myself, so I can better understand an event to my own satisfaction. I learn as I study, and there is so much to learn. If I can explain an episode clear enough so that it makes sense to me, I’ve gained some comprehension and I am satisfied. What I say is plain and direct and hopefully readers will be in accord with my argument, but I rarely have a hypothesis that I want to prove beforehand.


DW: Mentioning the recent Violent Encounters again, the interviewers and interviewees seemed quite comfortable with a number of 400 white civilians killed. Most earlier publications present a number between 600 and 1000. Is it possible to arrive at a reasonably accurate number?

GM: I don’t know that we will ever come to an agreement on the total number of whites killed. Examining the first week of the uprising in Dakota Dawn, I referenced at least 400 deaths. After the first seven days, numbers of white deaths dropped drastically, as most of those still alive had heard the news and either fled or forted up and armed themselves so that they would not be taken unaware again. I do not believe the number of whites killed was more than 500; in any case it is a horrendous statistic.


DW: Finally, you have another book slated for publication soon, The Settlers' War: The Struggle for the Texas Frontier in the 1860s. What will readers with a primary interest in the Civil War gain from reading this book?

GM: Studying the Texas frontier during the decade of the 1860s naturally covers the Civil War years of 1861-65, and the story of the Texans’ defense is an integral part of the book. I look at the U.S. Army, the Confederate Army, the Texas State Troops, the Rangers, the militia, and the settlers, to see who did a better job of protecting the frontier. The answer may be surprising. I look at strategies and tactics to see what worked best, and I look at troop strengths to see if numbers made a difference. Again the answers might be surprising. There were factors involved in Comanche, Kiowa, and Apache raiding that had nothing to do with numbers of soldiers or the tactics they used. Without giving away too much, one might say the soldiers could have stayed home for all the good they did. Stay tuned.

DW:  Thanks for your time, Greg! Readers, look for a review of Dakota Dawn in coming weeks.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Booknotes V ( August '11 )

New Arrivals:

1. George Crook: From the Redwoods to Appomattox by Paul Magid (Univ of Okla Pr, 2011).

Magid's book takes an in depth look at Crook's less heralded early military career, beginning in the Far West in California, Oregon, and Washington Territory and moving on through the Civil War years in West Virginia, western theater service with the Army of the Cumberland, and with Union forces in Virginia. Recent writers have been quite critical of Crook's up and down Civil War performances and I am looking forward to Magid's assessment.

2. The Global Lincoln edited by Richard Carwardine and Jay Sexton (Oxford Univ Pr, 2011).

A series of essays examining Lincoln's legacy from the perspectives of foreign historians.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Booknotes IV ( August '11 )

New Arrivals:


1. Dakota Dawn: The Decisive First Week of the Sioux Uprising, August 17-24, 1862 by Gregory F. Michno (Savas Beatie, 2011).

For quite a while, I've been hoping to find a book detailing the Great Sioux Uprising fighting at places like Redwood Ferry, New Ulm, and Fort Ridgely, and it looks like this one fits the bill. I hope to have an author Q&A with Michno posted in the near future.

2. Great Civil War Heroes and Their Battles by Walton Rawls (Abbeville Press, 2011).

A paperback reprint of 1985 edition. This is an introductory study of 50 Union and Confederate generals and admirals and their battles, supported by maps and drawings. It boasts the complete series of Kurz & Allison prints (if you like that sort of thing).

Monday, August 08, 2011

Burns: "SHOOTING SOLDIERS: Civil War Medical Photography By R.B. Bontecou"

[Shooting Soldiers: Civil War Medical Photography By R.B. Bontecou by Stanley B. Burns, M.D. (Burns Archive Press, 2011) 6 x 6.75 hardcover, 150 illustrations. 168 pp. ISBN:978-1-936002-05-6 $50]

During and after the Civil War, medical photography was recognized as a useful means of documenting the appearance, diagnosis, and treatment of war wounds. In these images, the partially clothed soldier (often directly facing the viewer) was carefully posed to reveal the nature of his injury. One of the best and most prolific practitioners of the art was Troy, New York physician Reed Brockway Bontecou, who treated soldiers at Harewood U.S. Army General Hospital in Washington D.C. His Harewood photographs were collected in several albums. Fast forwarding to today, ophthalmologist Stanley Burns's Shooting Soldiers is the first of a planned series of titles from the Burns Archive, all intended to showcase Bontecou's pioneering work. In it are the photos of soldiers from 101 regiments that were wounded in the last twelve months of the war in the eastern theater.

The first fifty pages are comprised of text summarizing the origins of medical photography, the directives of the army, and the history of Bontecou's own work. A short biography of the surgeon's life is included, as well as some information about the weapons and battles that led to the wounds featured in the book.

For most readers, the main point of interest of Shooting Soldiers will be the impressive reproductions of the Bontecou album photographs, each accompanied by the soldier's name, unit, nature and anatomical location of the injury, battle where the wound occurred, and discharge date. It appears that all of the subjects survived to be discharged. The hardcover itself is diminutive and almost square in dimension [6 3/4 x 6 in.], with the full page images reproduced in fine clarity on glossy paper.

One thing missing from Burns's work are the words of the wounded men. Coming from an age when medical matters were a much more deeply private matter than today, the thoughts of the soldiers at having their partially nude bodies, mutilations, and injuries permanently exposed to public view would have been interesting to find. Were the soldiers expected to participate, or were they asked to make a voluntary contribution to the advancement of medical science?

Such questions aside, Shooting Soldiers is a beautifully presented compilation of often haunting images that should be of great interest to students of Civil War history and nineteenth century medicine and photography.  One looks forward to the release of future volumes.

[for continually updated information, the Archive also has a blog]

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Kountz's Vicksburg

Recently, University of Tennessee Press has reissued a pair of classic unit organization and map studies associated with the Shiloh and Chickamauga-Chattanooga battlefield parks, authored by Civil War veterans David Reed and Henry Boynton. Next up will be John S. Kountz's Record of the Organizations Engaged in the Campaign, Siege, and Defense of Vicksburg.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Booknotes III ( August '11 )

New Arrivals:

1. Stuarts Tarheels: James B. Gordon and His North Carolina Cavalry in the Civil War, 2nd Ed. by Chris J. Hartley (McFarland, 2011).

I am not familiar with the first edition of this unit history, but the publisher description implies that the extensively detailed roster included with the new book was not present before. New source material was also incorporated into the 2nd edition. It is nice to see it published in hardcover, with so many of the current McFarland releases paperback only.

2. Robert Toombs: The Civil Wars of a United States Senator and Confederate General by Mark Scroggins (McFarland, 2011).

McF publishes bunches of Civil War biographies of varying quality and this one appears to belong among the better group. Scroggins is an archivist and has had articles published in scholarly journals. His Toombs biography addresses the Georgian's entire public career, from antebellum state and U.S. legislator to Confederate Secretary of State and general.

3. A Pocket History of the Civil War: Citizen Soldiers, Bloody Battles, and the Fight for America’s Future by Martin F. Graham (Osprey, 2011).

This is one of the those compilations of trivia and miscellany intended for new readers that we will undoubtedly see much of between now and 2015. You might recall Graham as co-author of the Mine Run volume from the H.E. Howard Virginia battles series. Supported by a multitude of charts and tables, this hardcover pocket history covers soldier life, arms and equipment, campaigns and battles, prisons, biographical stories, and statistics, each section ending with a quiz.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Arenson: "THE GREAT HEART OF THE REPUBLIC: St. Louis and the Cultural Civil War"

[The Great Heart of the Republic: St. Louis and the Cultural Civil War by Adam Arenson (Harvard University Press, 2011) Hardcover, maps, illustrations, notes, bibliography, index. Pages main/total:227/347. ISBN:9780674052888 $35]

As Cairo, Illinois can attest, being located at the confluence of a pair of iconic western rivers does not necessarily confer greatness. Geography always plays a part, but relentlessly forward looking local leaders, powerful political patrons, and just plain luck are all at least as important. St. Louis, a populous colonial city strategically situated where the Missouri River joins the Mississippi, appeared on the surface to have these traits and was poised in the mid-nineteenth century to become the nation's premier jumping off point of Manifest Destiny. Alas, it was not to be so, with St. Louis overshadowed by competition to the north (Chicago), but the city was important nonetheless, especially in the turbulent years before, during, and after the Civil War. Historian Adam Arenson's The Great Heart of the Republic examines critically the role of St. Louis in the nation's 1848-1877 culture clash of competing geographical interests and ideologies. The Civil War is just a part of Arenson's wide ranging investigation. Where Louis Gerteis's Civil War St. Louis offers a fine social and political history of the war years, Arenson adopts a more long term view capable of capturing broader cultural trends.

The idea that Missourians increasingly viewed themselves first as westerners, rather than northerners or southerners, does not originate with Arenson but serves as a useful starting point. Perhaps the most pervasive theme of the book is the constant striving of St. Louis leaders to act as a non-sectarian and non-partisan bridge between North and South, one that could then direct a more politically united country safely toward the development of the West.

For his study, Arenson effectively selected prominent St. Louis figures representational of broader cultural trends. For the antebellum era, the political aspect of St. Louis and the "cultural civil war" as presented in The Great Heart of the Republic centers around the person and influence of Senator Thomas Hart Benton, one of the nation's foremost promoters of Manifest Destiny. Benton believed that slavery would fatally hinder Missouri's ability to become the prime facilitator of the economic development of the vast western lands acquired by the war with Mexico. Unfortunately, the violent Missouri-Kansas border clashes and the high profile Gasconade Bridge disaster would throw a wrench into Benton's dream of a centrally located St. Louis rail link to the West. Instead, Chicago interests funded and completed a railroad spanning northern Missouri, linking Hannibal and St. Joseph. Through his ecumenical approach as a minister and his role in the founding of Washington University, Reverend William Greenleaf Eliot embodied the religious and educational aspirations of St. Louis. Washington University would indeed become a nationally recognized institution, and eclipse the Catholic St. Louis University in local influence. The book's discussion of slavery dwells heavily on Dred Scott. Surrounded by free states, defending the institution of slavery in Missouri would always be difficult. On the surface, the Dred Scott decision was a victory for Missouri and St. Louis's pro-slavery adherents, but Arenson traces the reasons behind why it was a broader cultural defeat.

During the time period covered in the book, St. Louis's ethnic German population exploded in terms of economic and political influence. While Arenson avoids the simplistic portrayal of all Missouri Germans as Radical Republicans, he credits them with forming the backbone of the free labor cause in the city and support for the Union. Interestingly, the author observes that Germans like Carl Schurz were a key force behind the blocking of the 1860 Republican presidential candidacy of conservative Missourian Edward Bates, helping to ensure a nominee unacceptable to the South.

Like Gerteis before him, Arenson does not detail St. Louis's critically important role as a military nerve center for the Union war effort in the West (especially for 1861-62). That book has yet to be written. However, given the cultural focus, it is rather expected that The Great Heart of the Republic would be light on military matters. Indeed the passages that are present are decidedly not a strength of the book.

In the post war years, St. Louis and its promoters again sought to enhance the city's stature as a national force that would economically and culturally unite North, South, and West. As outlined by Arenson, three schemes were attempted: the completion of the first transcontinental railroad through Missouri, the formation of a new political party (the Liberal Republicans), and the movement (founded by Logan Uriah Reavis) to relocate the national capital to St. Louis. All of these failed. The railroad could not be supported, Horace Greeley lost badly to Grant in 1872, and the capital change (while somewhat popular for a time) never gained traction. Nevetheless, Reavis's quixotic quest made for particularly interesting reading.

Adam Arenson's meticulous recounting of three decades of cultural civil war in St. Louis during a critical period of national social and political change provides a revealing portrait of failed civic aspiration. St. Louis remained a great American city but was denied its goal of becoming the great American gateway to the West. A shining example of vast page length not being a requirement of interpretive depth, Arenson's work succeeds as both city study and broad social history. The Great Heart of the Republic is heartily recommended reading for students of westward expansion, the Civil War, and Reconstruction.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Booknotes II ( August '11 )

New Arrivals:

1. A Little Short of Boats: The Civil War Battles of Ball's Bluff and Edwards Ferry, October 21 - 22, 1861 by James A. Morgan III  (Savas Beatie, 2011).

Originally published by Ironclad in 2004, this book became one of my favorite small battle studies, and the new edition (beyond the obvious physical improvement from paperback to hardcover) promises to make a great book even better. Beyond a few corrections as well as expansions due to additional source discoveries, Morgan also delves even deeper into an important theme from his earlier work, namely his effort to correct the traditional interpretation of the battle as part of a planned campaign to capture Leesburg.

2. The New Gettysburg Campaign Handbook June 9 - July 14, 1863: Facts, Photos, and Artwork for Readers of All Ages by J. David Petruzzi and Steven Stanley  (Savas Beatie, 2011).

With full color pages printed on heavy, high-gloss paper, this is a beautiful little guide to the campaign. Subjects includes facts & figures, Stanley's incomparable maps, myth discussions, quotations, photographs, biographical sketches, a brief campaign & battle history, and an OOB.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Booknotes ( August '11 )

New Arrivals:

1. Shooting Soldiers: Civil War Medical Photography By R.B. Bontecou by Stanley B. Burns, M.D. (Burns Archive Press, 2011).

The Burns Archive Press is publishing a series featuring the pioneering medical photography of Dr. Reed B. Bontecou. Shooting Soldiers is Vol. 1 and it provides 150 images (103 of which are posed portraits of soldiers and their wounds, both before and after treatment).

2. The Perfect Lion: The Life and Death of Confederate Artillerist John Pelham by Jerry H. Maxwell (U. of Ala Press, 2011).

This lengthy military biography of "The Gallant Pelham" is an impressive looking work in terms of level of detail and extent of research/documentation.